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Musashi (Musashi Complete)

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  9,632 Ratings  ·  652 Reviews
The classic samurai novel about the real exploits of the most famous swordsman. Musashi is a novel in the best tradition of Japanese story telling. It is a living story, subtle and imaginative, teeming with memorable characters, many of them historical. Interweaving themes of unrequited love, misguided revenge, filial piety and absolute dedication to the Way of the Samurai ...more
Hardcover, 970 pages
Published July 14th 1995 by Kodansha International (first published 1935)
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Gregg In historical order, Taiko is first & Musashi picks up on events directly after Taiko but it is not a sequel per se. Yoshikawa wrote (or at least…moreIn historical order, Taiko is first & Musashi picks up on events directly after Taiko but it is not a sequel per se. Yoshikawa wrote (or at least published) Musashi first (1935 vs. 1967). Taiko is the story of the unceasing civil wars that culminate in the unification of Japan under Hideyoshi (titular character). Musashi is the (historical) tale of a ronin's quest to achieve enlightenment via the Way of the Sword during the peaceful aftermath of Ieyasu's Shogunate.

So I believe Musashi has a narrower focus, fewer names & battles to keep track of (though still plenty) & likely far less political intrigue than that of Taiko. In that regard, it may be the better to start with; either way I do not believe you can go wrong.

I am nearing the end of Musashi with Taiko unread on my shelf. I have wanted to read Musashi for some time even though I owned Taiko first, so I chose it first (It seems I am going backward through history as I will read Taiko next and I have just learned about another Yoshikawa novel, The Heike Story, which takes place in the 12th century). I also like to read novels in the order in which they were written to see the author's development. However, the translators are different so the text will likely flow differently. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 08, 2007 Alger rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 16+
A breathtaking fictionalization of the life of one of the world's greatest warriors and renaissance men. Yoshikawa takes us on a mezmorizing voyage to a crossroads in Japanese history that changed all the rules and gave birth to a legend. The book opens in the year 1600 at the end of the infamous battle of Sekigahara, where the armies of east and western Japan met to decide who would govern: Toyotomi or Tokugawa. In the end to Tokugawa emerged victorious and the 150 year period of civil war cam ...more
Apr 29, 2012 Jasper rated it liked it
Perhaps my expectations were too high but I was a bit disappointed by this book. I am really interested in (traditional) Japanese culture and looked forward to reading Musashi. Although it is an entertaining read and I did gain some inspiration from it, I found it really missed the depth you'd expect from such a saga.

Apart from Musashi himself, all the other characters in the book are fairly one-dimensional and as a consequence, the story does not really seem to progress or unravel after the fir
Feb 03, 2009 aaron rated it it was amazing
wow...that is the first thing that came to mind when i finished this book. it is easily the best historical fiction i have ever read. it is also the largest and most difficult book i have ever read. it is very japanese therefore some of the names and places tend to get mixed up in the nearly 1000 page epic. however...that is the only negative i have after reading this book. it will go down as one of my favorite reads of all time. it focuses on the life (very dramatized by the fantastic eiji yosh ...more
Jul 09, 2008 Rob rated it it was amazing
This is easily my favorite book. It's very long and translated from Japanese resulting in some rough spots, but nevertheless, I could not put this one down. I recommend this to anyone...well, anyone who loves sword fighting.
Apr 13, 2008 Sam rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-lit
I read this novel about four years ago. At the time, the teacher for whom I was doing a book report on this novel, thought I was insane for picking such a long and complex novel. I vaguely remember someone else in my class reading The Bourne Supremacy.

I would have this tied with I, Claudius for the best historical fiction I've yet to read. Telling the tale of Miyamoto Musashi, the sword-saint of Japan, it begins with his rural boyhood and ends with a final showdown between the great warrior and
Oct 21, 2015 Tom rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of the old Criterion Collection samurai movies and I loved Toshiro Mifune's portrayal of Musashi, so I thought I'd give this a read. I found it VERY slow at the beginning, but I powered through. It took me as long to read this as it did to read Don Quixote….coincidentally, Musashi lived at the same time as Cervantes, so it was interesting to compare what was going on in Japan in the time of Shakespeare and Cervantes.

The story is epic in scope and follows Musashi Myamoto's life
Dec 17, 2007 Najamuddin rated it it was amazing
Ini buku pertama yang banyak memberikan inspirasi dalam hidup saya. Dimana perubahan 180 bisa terjadi dalam hidup kita.
Buku ini tidak semata-mata darah dan pertarungan tapi lebih pada Semangat dalam pencarian dan pengembangan jati diri, Kesetiaan dan Kepasrahan Cinta, Keindahan dan Seni.
Saya memberikan rating penuh untuk buku ini, bukan karena akan dusukai oleh semua orang. Tapi lebih banyak ke pribadi saya yang tidak akan melupakan sihir dari buku ini pada kehidupan saya.
Martha Sockel
Aug 15, 2014 Martha Sockel rated it really liked it
Shelves: japan, samurai
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2009 Endah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Juli 2005 lalu, sebuah buku terbit—judulnya Elang Retak. Ditulis oleh Gus Ballon, buku ini menceritakan tentang operasi sebuah pasukan Angkatan Darat TNI di pulau tak bertuan, dekat samudera Pasifik. Pada mulanya, seperti buku-buku baru lain, rasa-rasanya tak ada beda. Tapi ada yang mengusik. Sebuah kalimat terpampang menggelitik di sampul depan: "Mati bukan masalah, hidup itulah persoalan."

Itulah kalimat yang pas untuk melukiskan kesan yang saya dapat setelah membaca Musashi. Seluruh apa yang d
Aug 31, 2010 Anton rated it liked it
Yoshikawa was reccomended to me by my uncle, a Japanese History enthusiast. I have an active interest in Japanese culture and ritual, but not even a working understanding of their history. Taiko, the actual novel that was reccomended to me, has a very similar tone and feel as Musashi, but what really interested me in this book is that the politics of ancient Japan is the backdrop for the novel, as Musashi, a maturing Samurai, wanders through the Japanese countryside. Taiko is much more focused o ...more
Jeremy Preacher
Jan 19, 2016 Jeremy Preacher rated it really liked it
As a fan of epic fantasy, I was surprised by how much this was right in my wheelhouse, and I think this should be better-known among SF fans. It's a classic bildungsroman with epic battles, tragic romances, fun if somewhat archetypal characters, and a tremendous amount of cultural flavor and historical information.

It was published serially, and as a result is extremely episodic, which isn't a flaw precisely, although it does slow down the pacing and make it a trifle choppy. It's also got a bit o
Aug 12, 2008 Riannon rated it did not like it
I didn't like this book. It consisted of boring parts, punctuated by parts where the main character and maybe other characters, would go do something really stupid because of their bizarre moral codes or lack thereof.

The book is old enough that the levels of sexism in it are absurd, and parts of it got me so annoyed that I was really distracted from the plot.

I suppose it's interesting to get a perspective on a VERY different culture, but half the time I couldn't fathom any conceivable logical
Dec 13, 2008 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: worldliterature
An incredible, sprawling masterpiece... Yoshikawa tells the story of Japan's greatest swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi, in an awing bildungsroman that sees a young violent punk transformed into a masterful buddhist hero. Inspired the Hiroshi Inagaki Samurai films. Highly recommended.
Aug 29, 2015 Francesco rated it really liked it
Mi è piaciuto:
- La trama: un intreccio che tiene incollati al libro, si vuol sempre sapere cosa accade dopo.
- Affresco realistico della cultura giapponese non filtrato da occhi occidentali. Mi ha molto sorpreso la concezione dell' "onore" giapponese che traspare dal libro. Finora lo avevo sempre considerato un pregio, qualcosa da imitare e invece questo libro mostra le degenerazioni che tale sentimento può avere.
. la filosofia e la profondità di alcuni pensieri che, di tanto in tanto, intervalla
Dec 05, 2014 umberto rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, japan, samurai
Intimidated by its length for such a 7-book novel, I did not think I would finish reading this epic novel of a master samurai named Miyamoto Musashi (c. 1584-1645), one of the great Japanese swordsmen in 16th century Japan ( However, it is not simply a novel of ruthless, gory and god-like fights we might have read in the same genre or guessed from its brutal-looking cover, rather it is a classic samurai novel penned brilliantly by Eiji Yoshikawa since it ...more
Oct 19, 2008 Himawan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pertama kali melihat buku ini, kira-kira 2 tahun yang lalu. Ia begitu tebal, dan terusterang itu membuat saya terprovokasi untuk membacanya. Dalam benak saya apa gerangan Gramedia menerbitkan buku yang begitu tebal seperti ini, apa buku ini bagus dan terkenal? Perasaan itu mengemuka, tapi tidak cukup menggerakkan saya untuk membeli. Kemudian, beberapa bulan terakhir, di blog teman saya ada sebuah tulisan mengenai Musashi, kupikir, betapa hebatkah tokoh ini dan bila benar demikian, apakah saya la ...more
Ratna Supartini
Novel ini bagaimana? Indah dan Keren!!! Dan akan saya taruh di urutan teratas dalam rak favorit.

Ketebalan novel yang mencapai 1.247 halaman disertai dengan banyaknya tokoh di sana-sini, yang terpaksa harus saya catat, saking banyaknya, tidak membuat saya urung untuk melahapnya sampai tuntas.

Semula saya menduga Musashi hanya menceritakan tentang peperangan dan teknik bertarung, ternyata novel ini lebih banyak memaparkan sifat-sifat manusia, dan semangat mewujudkan impian.

Miyamoto Musashi sendiri
Giedrius Padriezas
Amazing Japanese story about fighter's demeanor, patience, perseverance, rivalries, hard work, which always results in a pay off at a later time. Next to this, there is also love, which follows the characters in every move. Well written, hence, easy to read. Many gems of ideas in this one.

Hope to read Shogun soon, expectations are pretty high after this.
May 27, 2014 Taddow rated it really liked it
I have been reading through this book off and on for several years and it was a grind at times bogged down by reoccurring themes and situations that got to the point of being absurd sometimes, as well as bouts of boring sections that did not seem to add to the plot. was still a great book. Sometimes the imagery described in the story was breath-taking. Sometimes the deeper meanings and lessons being offered were inspiring. And lastly, in the end, it was a great epic story about a man's ...more
Mar 16, 2016 Shiva rated it it was amazing
The last time I had a fleeting fascination for the Samurai was in middle school. With almost no existing interest in Japanese history, I started reading Musashi. And am I glad I did! I didn't put it down for three weeks. Even now, I return frequently to reread passages.

True. The plot has a few (very few) bits that might bore and seem almost forced, sometimes even vex - but a reading of this book deserves that you cast aside such trivialities, because it is a breathtaking story of one man's becom
Apr 09, 2014 Filippo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shinmen Takezo, che cambierà il suo nome nell'universalmente noto Musashi Miyamoto, è uno di quei personaggi destinato a diventare leggenda.
Incarna l'ideale del vagabondo alla perenne ricerca di qualcosa. Un avversario, un'ispirazione, una sfida. Fondamentalmente, alla ricerca di se stesso.
Troppo affascinante per non essere preso a modello.
La sua "via", il suo lascito, è ben più spirituale che tecnico, a dispetto di quanto potrebbe pensare chi inquadra Musashi semplicemente come "guerriero". Non
Michiyo 'jia' Fujiwara
..haha akhirnya selesai..juga..legaaaaaa.........
Seorang pemuda biasa..tapi hal yang membuatnya istimewa adalah tinggi badannya dan postur tubuhnya..yang diatas rata-rata orang Jepang pada masa itu..setelah kekalahan pada pertempuran Sekigara..yang entah mengapa ia bisa masuk dan ikut terlibat dalam perang itu..dalam perjalanan pulang..sesuatu kekeliruan telah ia lakukan dan memaksanya menjadi buronan..selama 3 tahun...dan atas pertolongan seorang pendeta Zen..yang disebut
Jan 05, 2011 Brian rated it it was amazing
12/17/2003 - 9/10

Musashi is a semi-fictionalized history of the life and times of one of Japan's greatest swordsmen and samurai (it has been called the Gone With the Wind of Japan). Musashi lived around 1600 AD, and was renowned for developing a two sword fighting style. His Book of Five Rings has been very influential among samurai for his thoughts on spirituality, strategy, winning and of couse swordplay.

Musashi starts off as an insolent, wild boy. His goal of mastering the sword becomes a
Serazhutdin Khappalaev
May 02, 2011 Serazhutdin Khappalaev rated it really liked it
"Мусаси" Ёсикавы, изданный у нас под названием "Десять Меченосцев", повествует об отрезке жизненного пути выдающегося японского фехтовальщика Миямото Мусаси. Хронологически, действие романа начинается практически там же, где заканчивается горячо любимый мною "Сёгун" Джеймса Клавелла (надо перечитать!), однако, в отличие от западного взгляда на знаменательные исторические события в Японии, поступки главных действующих лиц романа куда менее масштабны в контексте геополитики, но намного более подро ...more
Casey West
Feb 12, 2008 Casey West rated it really liked it
First of all this book is LONG. Think of The Stand with smaller print. But it was a pleasure to read. It's a fictional historical novel about a real person. Miyamoto Musashi is one of the most famous samurai swordsmen to ever live. He developed the two sword technique and wrote the popular book about the way of the samurai--"The Book of Five Rings". This book was written in Japanese and translated to english so some of the storytelling and themes may be a little different from what english reade ...more
Andanti Prasetyandaru
nDaru sebenernya udah lama slesein ne buku,bagian pertama dari buku roman Jepang karangan Eiji Yoshikawa, Musashi, yang menceritakan kelahiran Takezo menjadi seorang yang memilih menjadi seorang samurai. Takezo berganti nama menjadi Miyamoto Musashi.

Ada tokoh kecil yang menyentuh nDaru. Otsu. Otsu, kalok menurut khayalan gambrang nDaru adalah gadis dengan perawakan mungil, cantik, lembut dan setia. Otsu setia banget pada janjinya buat nungguin Takezo setiap hari di jembatan Hanada dan tiga tahun
Joel Judge
Sep 15, 2012 Joel Judge rated it liked it
Mushashi is one awesome samurai, he da man. While an enjoyable fictionalized account of Miyamoto Musashi's quest to master the way of the sword, there were aspects of this book which really grated big time. Firstly, there was way too much contrived happenstance. So much so that I began to wonder if there were only three to four hundred people in all of 17th Century Japan.

Another complaint I have with Mushashi is that all the main protagonists were fairly one dimensional. Old granny Osugi is a b
Feb 17, 2013 Dimitar rated it it was amazing
Apparently, all the Japanese have the same taste of postponing the culmination of a given moment, whether we'd say that about the Japanese cinema or books writing. Eiji Yoshikawa, seems to me, is the Akira Kurosawa of the Japanese books - continuous gradation of the events until the final moment of the clash; An action might begin in chapter 3, but it will finish in chapter 31.

It's a pleasure to read the book since it keeps you in constant tension, not being able where the danger might lay in. T
Rey Hernández Sedelmeier
Mar 04, 2016 Rey Hernández Sedelmeier rated it it was amazing
This one is a gem. I have been totally immersed in this book during the last month. A lot of wisdom and philosophy mixed with action and great characters.

I would say this book is like a journey. You walk the path towards the way with musashi, learning with him.

1000000% Recommended.
dedeh  handayani
Yang penting adalah bagaimana berdiri di tempat yang benar, agar ia dapat menunggangi ombak jaman. Tujuannya mutlak, bukan sekedar hidup, tetapi harus berarti. – Musashi-

Perjalanan ‘manusiawi’ sebuah pencarian jati diri seorang anak manusia.

Sebuah penggalian ke dalam diri, pencarian jati diri, yang digambarkan dengan sangat manusiawi.

Perjalanan dari titik paling bawah, hingga pencapaian lebih tinggi. Yang sejatinya terjadi pada diri setiap manusia beradab. Mungkin itu sebabnya buku ini banyak
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1 35 Dec 09, 2012 07:54PM  
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Pen-name of Yoshikawa Hidetsugu. Yoshikawa is well-known for his work as a Japanese historical fiction novelist, and a number of re-makes have been spawned off his work.

In 1960, he received the Order of Cultural Merit.
Eiji Yoshikawa (吉川 英治, August 11, 1892 – September 7, 1962) was a Japanese historical novelist. Among his best-known novels, most are revisions of older classics. He was mainly influ
More about Eiji Yoshikawa...

Other Books in the Series

Musashi (5 books)
  • Musashi: The Way of the Samurai
  • Musashi, Volume II (Musashi, #2)
  • Musashi: The Way of the Sword
  • Musashi: The Bushido Code
  • Musashi: The Way of Life and Death

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“It is easy to crush an enemy outside oneself but impossible to defeat an enemy within.” 567 likes
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